In the aftermath of the first Persian Gulf War, the authors describe economic and political characteristics of the Arab Middle East, the effects of that 1991 conflict, and Arab aspirations for change. Also explored are potential positive roles for American churches and Christians.
The article summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on the occasion of the church’s 20th anniversary, highlights the increasing diversity in the denomination, and emphasizes the importance of the strong ecumenical work that continues to take place, both nationally and internationally. Commitments to social justice, global connectedness and economic stewardship are also discussed.
What is the bound-conscience and what does it have to do with deciding whether or not the ELCA should accept for ordination gay and lesbian persons in long-term, monogamous, faithful relationships? In this article, I ask whether or not we might do better to speak of a “liberated conscience” as opposed to a “bound” one in relationship to this question.
I argue for a helpful criterion in defining marriage that honors this foundational social relation yet does not exclude persons from it according to their “form.” God‘s call should not be determined according to a static social order that is often defined according to human understandings of physical form. Instead, God’s call to serve our neighbor is the Lutheran criterion that should structure the many relationships in which humans live, including marriage.
The recommendations on ministry policy made by the Task Force for the ELCA Studies on Sexuality and coming before the 2009 Churchwide Assembly have provoked disparate responses from differing constituencies within the ELCA. In this article I propose to describe, through a case study, the ways in which the actual recommendations of the task force represent a compromise between two opposing sides.